What is It that Breathes Fire into the Equations?

This is a quote taken from Information and the Nature of Reality page 68.

Scientists have always believed that the world operated by laws – laws that could be expressed by mathematical equations.

How and why this belief came about is left to the historians of Science. A long, complicated history – that produced some very complicated mathematical equations.

Until recently, with the advent of the Computer – that does not operate with equations, but with algorithms – a series of instructions to the computer. This resulted in two modes of inquiry – mathematical and algorithmic. As different as night and day!

Computer Scientists follow certain procedures on data – their input. And derive useful outputs – more magic, but a different magic! That has no mathematics in it.

The amount of data is huge – enough to stretch to the moon and back. The computer is looking for hidden patterns in the data – and it won’t give up until it has found them – which may take days of processing. But that is not a problem – computer time is cheap!

Computer Software now produces Artificial Intelligence – using methods such as regression – that no one can understand – but gets useful results – like pulling a rabbit out of a hat!

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